NFL Rookies Kick Off Careers in Northeast Ohio

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BEREA, Ohio -- The Browns might not have been able to draft him, but quarterback Robert Griffin III still ended up on the practice field. He and all the other NFL Rookies are in Northeast Ohio as part of the NFL Rookie Symposium.

NFL Rookies were on the field working out in Berea at Browns headquarters.

"I’m having a blast here with these kids but I would have absolutely loved to do something like this when I was little," said Dallas Cowboys rookie Danny Coale.

All the NFL rookies from the NFC were in Berea as part of the NFL's Rookie Symposium and Play 60 Event. 

"It puts a smile on their face as well as ours," said Morris Claiborne, another Cowboys Rookie.

The guy who drew the most attention at the Play 60 event was the guy the Browns were willing to trade up to get, Washington Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III.

"Once I declared for the draft, Cleveland is the place I thought I would be just because they had the most fire power when it came to the draft picks and trade ability," said Griffin.

The rookie symposium is a four-day orientation which introduces the 2012 NFL Draft Class to life in the NFL. 

"A lot of things I can take and put into use in my own life and just try and make this transition as smooth as possible," Claiborne said.

Michael Vick, Adam Pac Man Jones, and Luther Ellis each delivered a message to the NFL Rookies this week. All three had troubled pasts at some point in their NFL career.

"To hear Michael Vick go on stage and talk about the whole issue when he normally doesn't and he tries to leave it in the past, I thought that was big," Griffin said.

"It made a big difference in my life just to know that you can be on top one day and then the next day it can be taken away from you," added Claiborne.

And while the Rookies were learning from former and present NFL players, the youth of Northeast Ohio was learning from them. 

This was more than just a 60-minute exercise or physical activities for these kids, it was a lifetime opportunity, one they won't soon forget.

"It's a dream come true, I never thought I would be in this situation but it's a once in a lifetime opportunity so I might as well take advantage of it," said Julian Diaz of Youngstown.

The AFC Rookies will have their symposium Wednesday through Saturday. They will have their Play 60 event on Friday in Berea.

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